Madeline Jhawar Minisode Transcript
Women Innovating Networking Growing Scaling – that’s WINGS … I’m Melinda Wittstock, my mission is to help women take flight to soar to the success of our dreams in business and in life– and create and grow businesses in alignment with our passion and purpose.
On this Mentoring Minisode of Wings of Inspired Business … we talk about how to have an “investor mindset” in your business. All too often early stage entrepreneurs make the mistake of seeing hiring as an expense rather than as an investment. And that stops them from growing their businesses because hiring too slow (or not at all) keeps a business owner trapped in a vicious circle of “chicken and egg”. To break that cycle, it’s vital a founder delegates, delegates some more, and gets comfortable with being 80% perfect. So, it’s time to retire some perfectionism as well!
Here with us today to provide her insights and inspiration is …
Madeline turned her passion for traveling in Italy into a thriving company creating custom vacations for curious travelers.
Madeline runs Italy Beyond the Obvious, founding her business 11 years ago, after living and working in Italy for 5 years and she guided weeklong hiking and biking tours in the luxury sector. She’s been busy scaling her business – and now offering an online course for people who want to replicate her innovative model.
Madeline Jhawar will be here with her advice in just a moment on our Mentoring Minisode and first …
Madeline is the CEO and founder of Beyond the Obvious, creating customized Italian vacations for curious travelers.
Madeline has created a unique business model – unlike the traditional travel agency and its commissions-based fee structure. Beyond the Obvious has an unusual fee-for-service business model – serving high-end clients who want to connect deeply to the culture with customized and magical experiences. Madeline has attracted a lot of attention from travel publications and podcasts – and says she regularly gets contacted by destination experts who tell her “you have my dream job! Please teach me how to do what you do!” After many years of requests, Madeline launched an online course last year that teaches anyone with niche travel expertise how to create an online business creating custom vacations.
Today we talk about scaling, hiring, delegating, why your self-care is vital and why even slow momentum is better than no momentum at all.
Melinda Wittstock: Madeline, welcome to Wings.
Madeline Jhawar: Hi Melinda. Thanks so much for having me.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah, I'm excited to talk to you. I mean, apart from which I love Italy. So everything you're doing there is wonderful. Yes, I have these aspirations to maybe someday retire there, but it's a gorgeous, gorgeous place. And I want to just start by asking you what's inspiring you right now in your life and your business?
Madeline Jhawar: Right now, I am so inspired because I just launched a course to teach people how to do what I do. So, my Italy travel business is 11 years old and people reached out to me all the time saying, “You have my dream job. Please teach me how to do what you do.” And finally, a year ago, I said, “Fine, if you will pay me, I will teach you.” And I got five guinea pigs, I guess, is what I called them. And I'm so excited. These people have just lit up. I mean, I've just taught, I've just said, “You have this deep destination expertise. Let me show you how you can set up your own online business. You don't have to be a travel agent. We just charge fees and you can create custom vacations for people” and they have their, I mean, I'm so inspired by them because they've just, this has opened up a new world for them. And so I've just run through, about 12 students through and we're going to go live soon.
Melinda Wittstock: Oh, that's fantastic. So inspirational for them and a new business line for you. That's awesome. And so, everyone has challenges in business especially when we start something up on our own and every phase of business has a different challenge. What are some of yours right now?
Madeline Jhawar: Oh my gosh. Mine is letting go and delegating to my teams. So, and it's become really, really necessary for me to do this now. I mean, in the past I've always said, “Yes, I need to grow my team. I need to give them more responsibility.” But since I launched this new course, my Italy business has to be run by my team, like I just literally don't have time to do it. And so I've just had to delegate whether I liked it or not. And I'm so kind of nitpicky about how things get done and I've just had to let go and just be like, “You know what? 80% is good enough.” And it totally is.
Melinda Wittstock: I think that's possibly the single biggest challenge for women in business in particular. I see so many guys having no problem just kind of offloading stuff to other people. But women, what is it about us? We really struggle with that.
Madeline Jhawar: I know I've started calling myself a recovering control freak because, I don't know. It's just I feel like I built it and I solved it and letting go of it is a, I don't know why it's such a challenge.
Melinda Wittstock: It's funny though. It's true. So, along the way, I know you've learned plenty of things and what would be your top three go to pieces of advice for women in business and female founders and entrepreneurs?
Madeline Jhawar: So I think the first thing is that to remember when you're starting and you have like a million things to do and you're kind of overwhelmed with all the things you have to do, but you don't maybe have any customers and you are the one making the momentum and pushing things forward. It's easy to get frustrated and feel like, “Oh, what's the point? This is so slow. This isn't going as fast as I wanted it to.” And I was given some really good advice early on where one of my mom's friends, who was a judge, said to me like, “You can slow way down. You can slow way, way, way down.” But he said, “If this is a business that you want to do, don't ever stop because it's really, really hard to start up from a stop compared to just keeping momentum, even if the momentum is a slow momentum. It's so much easier to just keep going.” And that was such good advice.
Melinda Wittstock: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah, that's really, really good. Yeah. I mean, every day is different and you just, it's one foot in front of the other, yeah?
Madeline Jhawar: Yeah. [crosstalk [spp-timestamp time="00:04:07"] yeah. What's the next one thing that I can do? And that really was very helpful.
Melinda Wittstock: That's good. Very, very focusing. And what's number two?
Madeline Jhawar: The second one I think is just remembering, it's a marathon, not a sprint. And I feel like at the beginning of a business, you're full of ideas and full of energy and full of inspiration and you want to take off and get things done and get it. And I just had to remind myself take care of yourself. Get enough sleep. Eat well. Don't forget to exercise. It's just not healthy to work, work, work. And it's a marathon. It's slower and study or not run fast and burn yourself out.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah. It's so funny because we all set deadlines for ourselves. So, when you, whenever I hear an entrepreneur including myself saying, “Oh, I have to get it done by …” who says.
Madeline Jhawar: Yeah.
Melinda Wittstock: Right? We put all these things on ourselves. And so, what would be number three?
Madeline Jhawar: I think don't be afraid to invest in yourself. And this might mean borrowing some money. It might mean … I think a lot of, especially the people I'm coaching through these online businesses, they want to earn money and then spend it and then earn money and then spend it. And I'm like, “You might need to borrow some money, make an investment, spend it, and then be a little bit patient and maybe be in debt or being paying back slowly for bigger returns so you can move faster.” And that, to me, seems like something, again, to your point earlier, that it's really women. Men don't, I don't know why men don't have, as it seems to me, men don't have as much fear about that. They're like, “Oh, I need $1 million in order to invest in my company.” And in my experience women are less, are more, seem to be more afraid of that.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah, I think men tend more to see money as what it truly is which is just leverage. It's a tool rather than a destination in and of itself. But this is great advice, Madeline. So how can people find you and work with you?
Madeline Jhawar: So, if you would like to go to Italy, find me at italybeyondtheobvious.com and on all the related social, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, all of that, Italy Beyond the Obvious. And then if you're interested in learning how to set up a business online business as a travel, creating custom vacations for travelers, you can find me travelbeyondtheobvious.com, which is where my course is.
Melinda Wittstock: Well, wonderful. Thank you so much for putting on your wings and flying with us in our mentoring Minisode.
Madeline Jhawar: Thank you, Melinda. It's been so fun.